The key controllable expense in housekeeping is payroll. There is a specific formula for managing this expense and if it is followed then this department will be profitable.
The formula works as follows:
One Room Attendant for 15 rooms to be serviced, with a maximum of 16 rooms in 8 hours
30 minutes average POR (Per Occupied Room)
No more than 7 minutes for laundry POR (Per Occupied Room)
The first opportunity is when the schedule is produced. All schedules should be based on occupancy. This is critical to managing proper staffing levels. To do this an accurate forecast must be done by the Front Office Manager. We recommend the format as shown in Exhibit (1). As soon as the forecasted number of rooms can be established then the schedules should be based on this demand. Once again use the above ratio of one Room Attendant per fifteen occupied guest rooms.
Every process in housekeeping is designed to meet this formula. The quicker the staff can get into the rooms and clean them, then the less payroll hours that are consumed.
Management must monitor this on a daily basis. When room assignments are given out then the expected time of completion should be noted on the Room Assignment Sheet. As the Inspectors work throughout the day, they should check to make sure each Room Attendant is on schedule. If someone is “lagging” behind then additional help can be directed his or her way.
The housekeeping hours should be tabulated and the minutes per occupied room calculated. This should be done on a weekly basis at a minimum. If problems exist it may be done daily. This will allows managers to make adjustments to upcoming schedules so as to maintain a targeted budget.


Total housekeeping hours= 800
Multiplied by 60 minutes per hour = 48000
Divided by Number of occupied rooms = 1600
= Average Minutes POR (Per Occupied Room) 30

Exhibit (1) 10-Day Forecast

10 Day Forcast
Some additional key points about controlling housekeeping labor:
Make sure no one clocks in before their scheduled time.
Once clocked in, Room Attendants should report immediately to work with no lag time for socializing.
Meal breaks need to be kept on time.
When the shift is over ladies need to promptly finish up and clock out. Once again do not allow time for lagging and chatting about the days work.
If you have a challenge of getting the team focused on their time, display a chart and track their time on a daily basis. Make it fun with a prize for “most improved” or an over all “Team Goal”
We recommend that you pay an incentive for reaching targeted time. The Room Attendants at American Hospitality Management are paid a $.10 an hour bonus for every minute under 35 minutes (including laundry) that the team achieves during a month. This is a great incentive for the staff to perform and with a payroll that is running that efficiently, there is enough savings to pay the bonus and still maintain departmental profit.
Look for “Time Robbers”. This can be watching TV in the rooms or listening to the radio, visits from friends or families, telephone calls, wandering around “looking for supplies”. A work culture that has a sense of urgency should exist and this has to be woven into the daily operation.
Make sure that all systems are in place and adhered to. If the Houseman does not stock the carts properly or at all, then the whole system fails, inspect what you expect!
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